Baku. Mubariz Aslanov – APA. Diaspora activities rely on four factors: patriotism, volunteerism, intelligence and finance. Financing is the latest factor here, but without that, it’s impossible to operate efficiently, Chairman of Azerbaijan’s State Committee on Work with Diaspora Nazim Ibrahimov told APA.
“At the same time, if we have patriotism, volunteerism and intelligence it becomes easier to solve the latter,” said Ibrahimov. “Unfortunately, we have such an approach that only the state should provide financial support to diaspora organizations, while the views of other countries are totally different. Such experience cannot be a topic for discussion.”
He emphasized the need for state support to diaspora organizations but outlined that not all problems should be shouldered on state.
“If we wait for all diaspora organizations to be financed by the state, these organizations will not be able to survive independently. Rather we will have created conditions for the emergence of new organizations awaiting the government's financial aid,” added the diaspora leader.
Diaspora organization is a non-governmental organization registered in the country in which it operates, Ibrahimov said noting that if it does not have stable financial sources or cannot get such financial resources, it is impossible for it in practical terms to successfully operate.
“Unfortunately, we often hear some statements as to why the Committee did not support a certain organization or project. Of course, the state can provide and has provided such support to certain organizations or projects. But if we were to finance all organizations and projects proposed, can you imagine how much it would cost to the budget? On the other hand, if any Azerbaijani or diaspora organization wants to do something for the country, they should not give up their desire because of the state not financing it,” he said.
Ibrahimov noted that there are more than 460 Azerbaijani diaspora organizations in the world today.
“There is no country where Azerbaijani diaspora organizations operate except that our diaspora organizations react to any issue regarding Azerbaijan’s national interests as it arises. At the same time, any call from the Azerbaijani state meets immediate reaction,” added the diaspora head.
According to him, a diaspora activity is a voluntary work, and here, no one can be forced to take any step.
“Each does what they are able to, and therefore they shouldn’t be accused but thanked. Of course, the historical experience of the Azerbaijani diaspora is not like that of other countries, because our diaspora movement emerged about 25 years ago. The history of other peoples’ diaspora activity covers centuries. They are already sufficiently integrated into society in which they live. For 25 years, the Azerbaijani diaspora had to pass the way that other countries’ diasporas passed for centuries,” he said.
Ibrahimov outlined another important aspect.
“There are some countries that create different opportunities for diaspora organizations. Those countries have their own political interests, and some diasporas need to be powerful to make agile maneuvers in diplomacy and ensure their political interests. As a civil servant, I shouldn’t mention a name, but you probably know what I mean”, he added.
Asked about the crimes committed against Azerbaijanis in Ukraine, the diaspora leader said the matter is in the spotlight of the Azerbaijani state.
“The State Committee is also focused on the matter. We get information from diaspora organizations and diaspora activists about each incident and take necessary steps to investigate the issue or solve arising problems within the scope of our powers. However, as I mentioned, within the scope of powers. There are some issues which go beyond our powers and are more related to the powers of law enforcement authorities or diplomatic missions. These situations, of course, should be taken into account,” he said.
Asked if it was possible to solve the problems that arose recently within the Azerbaijani Diaspora in Russia – in the Azerros Russian Congress of Azerbaijanis, Ibrahimov said:
"Russia is home to one of the largest Azerbaijani communities and the biggest diaspora organizations also operate in this country. You and the public know that at some point there were some problems. The State Committee also expressed its position in relation to these issues many times. We believe that those times are over. Now our position is that the Azerbaijani diaspora in Russia should be stronger and more cohesive. Because Russia is a specific state that is a neighbor and a partner of Azerbaijan and has vast influence in the international relations system. At the same time, as I noted earlier, the largest contingent of the Azerbaijani diaspora is based in this country. For us, activities of the Azerbaijani diaspora in Russia are highly important.”
The diaspora leader goes on say that work is underway to develop an action plan for the 25th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide, and specific decisions will be taken after some consultation.